College Football Picks: Washington State vs. Washington

Willie Bee

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 8:44 PM GMT

Pac-12 rivals Washington State and Washington face off this weekend in Seattle. With both teams looking at possible bowl berths, we break down the odds and choose our top college football picks.

Watch football from the cozy confines of the house this Friday, or fight crazy traffic and even crazier shoppers at the mall? The decision is yours to make, but you can bet my fat butt is going to be in front of a television and nowhere near all the idiots out and about on Black Friday.

Helping to make my choice an easy one is a full lineup of games available on one network or another, including Pac-12 rivals Washington State and Washington. FOX will carry this particular contest starting at 3:30 PM (ET), and the 106th meeting between the schools finds the Huskies home favorites of more than two full touchdowns.

Washington backers will be laying 14 in this year's Apple Cup, that spread opening a half-point higher. Some live college football odds aren't yet listing a total for the tilt.

This has been an even rivalry in recent years with the two schools deadlocked five wins apiece in the last 10 meetings. It's the Huskies who have the decided advantage overall with a 67-32-6 record in the series, and they'll be looking for their third straight win at home over the Cougars. Home teams are 55-44-6 since the first meeting in 1900, including wins in both 2011 and 2012.

Washington State scored the upset a year ago in Pullman, rallying from 18 down in the fourth quarter to pull off the 31-28 overtime win. The Cougars were 14 point underdogs then as well, and the final went past the mark to leave totals an even 5-5 in the previous 10 clashes.

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Wazzu Looking To Firm Up Bowl Invite

Mike Leach has certainly had a better second season at Washington State following a 3-9 showing in 2012, the lone conference victory coming in the win over Washington. The Cougars (6-5 straight up, 8-3 against the spread) officially became bowl eligible last Saturday with a 49-37 decision at home vs. Utah, but might need a seventh win to ensure go bowling.

Currently, there are 70 teams -- 9 from the Pac-12 with only 7 bowl locks -- that have met the minimum qualifications for bowl consideration, and a few more could get to that level by the end of this weekend. Considering that one of Wazzu's six wins came against a 1-10 Idaho Vandals team, the Cougs could be on the outside looking in should they finish 6-6.

Leach's lads have bounced back from a tough October with a pair of wins in November, beating Arizona on the road before topping the Utes last week. Connor Halliday had his fourth game with at least 60 pass attempts this season, completing 39-of-62 aerials for 488 yards and four scores in the victory over Utah, covering the -1.5 point spread on Washington State and helping the game easily jump the 52 point scoreboard hurdle. It was the fourth 'over' in five games for the Cougars.

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Huskies Eye First 8-Win Season Since '01

Steve Sarkisian also understands the math involved in his Huskies going to a third consecutive bowl. Washington has ended each of the past three seasons with identical 7-6 records, and can wrap up its first 8-win season since 2001 when Rick Neuheisel was on the UDub sidelines.

The Huskies literally ran over Oregon State last Saturday in a 69-27 rout, the most points Washington had scored since a pair of 71-0 routs over Willamette and Whitman in 1944. Of the 692 yards of total offense Washington accounted for, 530 came on the ground, 179 of those by Bishop Sankey is averaging over 143 rushing yards per game (4th in nation).

Washington beat the Beavers without the services of quarterback Keith Price due to a shoulder injury.The senior pivot is listed as probable for Friday's affair vs. Washington State.

The weatherman is predicting a chance for showers Friday afternoon in Seattle, which is no surprise.The forecast says as of Monday afternoon listed a 30% likelihood of precipitation, with most of the game played in the mid-40s and a light southerly breeze. Confirm the forecast before placing your bet.

Wazzu is going to be facing a much tougher pass defense in Washington than what Utah showed last Saturday, and that combined with what has generally been a porous Cougars defense has me on the Huskies minus the two touchdowns for my free college football pick.

My pick: Washington -14

Season: 25-10 (+14.0)

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